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Jonathan, Okara back Rivers’ bid to host UNESCO world book capital

BY IMITOTA ONOYUME

PORT HARCOURT – PRESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan and  literary icon, Gabriel Okara are among eminent Nigerians who had endorsed bid by Rainbow Book Club in partnership with Rivers State Government to host United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO, world book capital city in 2014.

President Jonathan, in a letter by his Special Adviser on Research and Strategy, Mr Oronto Douglas, at a joint briefing by Rivers State Ministry of Education and Rainbow Book Club, said the state (Rivers) should be allowed to host the 2014 UNESCO world book capital.

Ms Molara Wood of the Bring Back the Book campaign in the Presidency, enjoined Nigerians to support the bid for Port Harcourt to host the UNESCO world book capital in 2014.

Okara argued that that event will strengthen reading culture in Africa, if Port Harcourt hosted  same. Others who also supported the move were Dr Joseph Ngu, UNESCO Director/Country Representative and National Secretary PEN International, Nigeria.

Earlier, Founder of Rainbow Book Club, Mrs Koko Kalango, said hosting the UNESCO world for that year would raise public consciousness among Africans for books and literature, adding that it would attract global attention to Africa.  She enjoined Nigerians and other Africans to support the bid by Rivers State  to host the event.

On her part, the state Commissioner for Education, Dame Alice Lawrence-Nemi, said the exercise would boost reading culture in the state and the country.


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